Al's Tattie Soup
By now, most of you will know that our dear friend Alasdair Muckersie passed away on the afternoon of Wednesday, January 23rd, 2023. This is his own pic of the Tattie soup he used to make. It looked so good, I asked him for his recipe.
"I just kinda remember helping Liz prepare it. I was her sous chef sometimes. She used to use all fresh veg and there was loads of peeling and chopping. I don’t remember what else she put in it.
I cheat now! And have had to experiment a bit. And have no real recipe. I’m absolutely sure you could adapt my 'method' to 'proper' soup.
Half the veg used is potatoes. Maybe 8 or so. (I add a couple of carrots if I have them.) I parboil them for 10 mins in 4 pints of water. Then I add half a bag of Tesco frozen casserole veg (carrots, turnip, onions, celery). When the water comes back to the boil I add salt, pepper, a sprinkling of dry mixed Italian herbs and 4 Knorr Vegetable Stock Pots. Boil for another 15 minutes or so. Then I whizz it up - not too smoothly - with an electric hand blender thing. And that’s it. Not proper cooking at all! But it tastes almost as good as Liz’s.
I’ve just measured out yesterday’s remaining soup! So - including the 2 bowls we ate yesterday - it makes 7 bowlfuls, in fact. Of course, I sometimes finish a bowl then have another ladleful right away. We either eat it over a few days or freeze half of it."
I was planning to make Al's tattie soup by following his method but, Sod's Law being what it is, when I went online to look at Tesco frozen casserole mix, what should I see but "Out of stock". It seems to happen a lot lately with Tesco and the things (often the less expensive things) I want to buy. Hmmm, as a certain Victorian boy detective might say...
So it's back to his wife Liz's method (which I'm having to second-guess) using all fresh veg, and I'm going to halve the quantities, because it's just me I'm just cooking for. So: potatoes, carrots, onions, celery, and turnip (the yellow sort that I would call swede, the Scots would call neeps...and our American friends might call rutabaga).
Serves 3 - 4 as a main course; 5 - 6 as a starter.
a splash of oil
1/2 an onion, finely chopped
150g swede (neeps or rutabaga), peeled and chopped into small dice
1 medium stick of celery, chopped into small dice
1 carrot, roughly chopped
4 potatoes (about 450g in total), peeled and roughly chopped
2 pints of water
2 vegetable stock pots or cubes
a pinch of Italian mixed herbs (I used basil and oregano)
salt and pepper to taste
Soften the onions in the oil and butter for 3 minutes over a medium heat.
Stir in the swede and the celery and cook for 3 minutes more before stirring in the carrot. Again, let it cook for another minute or two.
Now place the potatoes (cut up roughly the same size as these carrots have been) on top, whack on a lid, and turn the heat down to the lowest setting. Leave the vegetables to sweat for 15 minutes.
Now stir in the herbs and add the water and stock pots (or crumble in the stock cubes). Bring to a boil, then let it simmer for 30 - 35 minutes with the lid on.
Let it cool a while before blending it ("not too smoothly," as Al says). I used my electric blender, as the stick I have is a little too lightweight for the job.
One of the most attractive things about the pic of Al's soup is the generous grinding of black pepper on top. The photo's not as good as Al's, but the soup is delicious!
Any questions? You can use the comments form at the bottom of the page.
Did you know?
You'll find recipes at the back of all the books in the Send for Octavius Guy series: